Norwegian police call for tightening of gun laws after mass shooting

The police in Norway are calling for stronger gun control after a man shot and killed 69 people at a youth camp on Utøya on 22 July. It is the largest mass shooting ever committed by a civilian. Most victims were between 13 and 18 years old. The perpetrator was member of a shooting club and a licenced owner of at least two guns including a semi-automatic weapon. Norwegian Police Director Øystein Mæland said “based on the potential to do harm that this type of weapon has, we want a tightening of the law in relation to this weapon type for civilians”. Ragnhild Bjørnebekk of the Norwegian Police University College said better routines are needed “in order to make the police aware of people with such serious psychological problems that they can hurt themselves or others”. A committee established by the Justice Department is currently reviewing Norwegian gun laws and will conclude with recommendations on 1 September.

* For more information about Norwegian gun laws see http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/norway

* Many IANSA members have published messages of solidarity after the shooting. One of them by Aktionsbündnis Amoklauf Winnenden, an organisation set up by parents of young people who were killed in the 2009 school shooting in Winnenden, Germany, is available here.